Build a “bee hotel”, September 16

BEE A FRIEND TO NATURE

Invite Beneficial Bees to Take Up Residence in your Backyard

Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) invites families and all interested individuals to participate in a Bee Hotel Workshop on Sunday, September 16th from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm at the High Lonesome Nature Reserve.

Care for your garden as nature intended… with the help of useful insects. Bees and wasps are beneficial to people and the ecosystem as a whole, both for pollination and as a food source for birds and for natural pest control. They have a symbiotic relationship with other creatures, in other words they play a role in the balance of nature.  The diversity of these creatures will fascinate and engage you.

Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust works with landowners who love their land and want it to be conserved for future generations.  On our MMLT lands, we protect the natural world and our plan is to learn about these insects by constructing Bee Hotels.  Why not share this initiative with a community of nature lovers through a workshop designed carefully to our local needs?

Offering a refuge to beneficial insects, especially pollinators, insect hotels can help declining populations due to habitat loss, pollution and abuse of pesticides. Countless stores sell bee hotels and numerous blogs and websites have step-by-step manuals on how to build one yourself.  But while aesthetically pleasing and well-intentioned, these insect hotels often offer unsuitable homes to the target insects of our region.

MMLT’s invites you to a Bee Hotel Workshop on September 16 at High Lonesome Nature Reserve.  This workshop is different!

  • Rob Longair, an entomologist who has studied wasps and bees for more than 40 years, will describe some of our local solitary bees and wasps, their important role in our natural world and the variety of nesting materials they use. Commercial bee hotels often fail to use the variety of hole sizes which attract some of the overlooked pollinators, like Yellow-Faced Bees and Cellophane Bees, as well as predators like Passaloecus, a small, aphid-hunting wasp;
  • Armed with this understanding, you will create a custom bee hotel to attract your favourites, choosing the most appropriate from among the various blocks, reeds and other materials provided;
  • All materials are natural and local – no bamboo from the dollar store, plastic, metal or glass, just local wood, hollow Phragmites stems etc.

The Mississippi Mills Naismith Men’s Shed are partnering with MMLT to provide the shells for the hotels, with MMLT supplying the hotel furnishings.

Open to adults and children aged 5+.  Each family or individual registrant will assemble one Bee Hotel.  The cost for MMLT member families is $40, non-members $50. Pre-registration is required at https://mmlt.ca/event/bee-hotel-workshop/. The workshop will accommodate 25 families or individuals so register early.  Bring your lunch and, following the workshop, spend some time exploring some of the 8 km of trails on the Reserve.  High Lonesome Nature Reserve is located at 867 Carbine Road outside Pakenham.